Big Lakes council selects priorities for special grant

Road work and airports; nine projects not eligible

Richard Froese
For the Lakeside Leader

Big Lakes County has finalized its priority list for capital projects to be funded by a provincial government stimulus program.

Plans to replace an aging culvert, repairs to a short stretch of road in Enilda and renovations and repairs to Swan Hills Airport are the top three on the list and the only ones eligible for Municipal Sustainability Program (MSP) funding.

Nine other suggested projects are not eligible.

“The minister gets to select what the minister wants,” Heather Nanninga, the county’s director of corporate services told council at its Aug. 26 meeting.

Big Lakes has been allocated $487,720 in MSP funds – part of the government’s $500 million MSP announced in late July.

In a bit more detail, the approved projects will be:

  1. Replacing damaged or aged culverts on some roads – estimated at $585,000.
  2. Repair and extend Range Rd. 160 in Enilda by about 158 metres, between Railway Ave. and the CN tracks – estimated at $300,357.
  3. Renovations/repairs to the airport at Swan Hills were not specified, nor was a dollar amount mentioned at the meeting.

    A major project on the M.D.’s wish list that is not eligible for MSP funding is a new gravel road from Hilliard’s Bay Provincial Park to a nearby subdivision. This is estimated at $5.1 million – well beyond the allocated amount in the MSP.

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